By Jan Wolfe
(Reuters) – A bunch of Texas Republicans have misplaced considered one of two authorized challenges they introduced within the hope of halting drive-through voting in Houston and having greater than 120,000 votes thrown out.
In a short order issued on Sunday, the Texas Supreme Courtroom denied a request by conservative activist Steven Hotze and others for an order that drive-through voting violates Texas election legislation.
An almost an identical case introduced by the identical plaintiffs is pending in federal court docket. The decide assigned to that case has scheduled an emergency listening to for Monday morning.
“Tomorrow we shall be in entrance of a federal decide who can have a possibility to evaluate the federal claims we have now asserted,” Jared Woodfill, a lawyer for Hotze, mentioned in an e-mail.
Woodfill added that his purchasers could ultimately take their combat to the U.S. Supreme Courtroom.
Democratic-leaning Harris County, house to about 4.7 million folks, is the third most populous county in the US. It at present has 10 drive-through polling websites, which can be found to all voters.
Harris County Clerk Chris Hollins has known as drive-through voting a protected different to in-person voting throughout the coronavirus pandemic.
Texas, the second largest U.S. state, is historically Republican, however polls present an in depth race between President Donald Trump and Democratic nominee Joe Biden with greater than 9 million ballots already solid, eclipsing the state’s whole turnout from the 2016 presidential election.
Sunday’s order got here as little shock after the state’s supreme court docket on Oct. 22 denied the same request to halt drive-through voting, in a lawsuit filed by the Republican events of Texas and Harris County.
U.S. District Decide Andrew Hanen in Houston is because of maintain an emergency listening to on Monday within the federal court docket motion introduced by Hotze and different plaintiffs, who embrace state Consultant Steve Toth, a Republican.
They need Hanen to direct officers to halt drive-through voting and reject the roughly 127,000 ballots which have already been solid at ten drive-through voting websites.
The request to void votes is “wholly unreasonable,” Democratic teams, together with the Democratic Congressional Marketing campaign Committee, mentioned on Friday in a movement asking to intervene within the case.
“Plaintiffs ask this Courtroom to throw Texas’s election into chaos by invalidating the votes of greater than 100,000 eligible Texas voters who solid their ballots at drive-thru voting areas on the invitation of county officers and in reliance on the Texas Supreme Courtroom’s choice to permit drive-thru voting to proceed,” the teams mentioned.
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